NEW DELHI ( SOURCE – INDIA TODAY )-Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri is probably one of the few Congress leaders who has gained equal praise from both the Congress as well as the right-wing RSS / Jansangh camps.
In 1965, Jansangh founder Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay had praised Shastri for his leadership of the country by calling him ‘Jan Nayak’.
It was probably the same sentiment that came into play, when Shastri’s son Sunil Shastri piled up praises after praises for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, much to the surprise of the Congress leaders who had gathered in Agra to meet and greet him.
Talking to India Today in a special meeting, Shastri said that he felt honoured to be the son of that great man who never thought about himself and only did his duty towards the country.
Shastri said that when his father passed away untimely in Tashkent, he left him and his three brothers one room and one cot, on which all four of them slept. He said that his father was a simple man who believed in making India proud but did not think about any personal gains.
Likening PM Narendra Modi with his father, Sunil Shastri said that PM Modi was working exactly like his father, raising the honour of India all over the world and devising comprehensive development schemes within India like ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’.
He said that there was no alternative of PM Modi in today’s Indian politics and in 2019, the BJP will return to power with record seats.
Commenting on Sunil Shastri’s views, Bhartiya Muslim Vikas Parishad chairman Sami Aghai said that former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri may not have been a vocal opponent of the RSS and Jansangh, but he never liked the right-wing ideology of these two organizations and even during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, he had agreed to take support of both these organizations on the condition that they will only work to help preserve order within India while the war raged on at the north-western front.
He said that comparing PM Modi with Lal Bahadur Shastri was actually equal to dishonouring that great man who even travelled abroad in a simple dhoti-kurta whereas PM Modi changes four expensive suits in just one day in India.
Aghai said that while Shastri was active in keeping India together after the sudden demise of Pt. Nehru, PM Modi was actually busy devising ways to pit Hindus against Muslims and Upper Castes against Dalits.
“While Shastri dreamed of making India a prosperous world power and eradicate hunger and poverty from the country, PM Modi probably thinks about the colour of the suit he will wear the next day,” he said.
Dalit leader and social activist Rajkumar Nagrath said that former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri came from a humble background and always thought about the welfare of the people who lived at the lowest rungs of the social and economic ladder.
“It is surprising that Shastri’s son is likening PM Modi with his father when PM Modi is nothing but a stooge of the corporate giants like Ambani and Adani,” he said.
He said that under Shastri, India was making progress in eradicating hunger, while under Modi, India has regressed by 20 years and the people will continue to pay the price of making Modi the PM in 2014, for the next two decades .